Wayne Burton and John Commerford travelled from Sydney to judge at the Bay of Islands Canine Association's double championship show at the Kaikohe A&P showgrounds last weekend, and well and truly had their work cut out, with a record 215 entries on Saturday and 214 on Sunday.

Competitors travelled from all over the North Island, including Levin and Wellington.

Championship shows were staged by clubs affiliated to Dogs NZ, Colleen Gifford said, the best male and best female of given breeds being eligible for challenge certificates. Winning eight challenge certificates at different shows gives them champion status.

Dogs could be shown from three months of age in seven groups — toys, terriers, gundogs, hounds, working, non-sporting and utility.


Saturday was a memorial show for Hilary Nilsen, who died two years ago, and who had been involved with the Bay of Islands Canine Association from its inception some 30 years ago, including stints as secretary and treasurer. The show was opened by Mayor John Carter, patron of the club.

The Kaikohe showgrounds proved to be a very popular venue, Ms Gifford added, well-travelled competitors saying they were up to a very high standard.

"Until this year the championship shows were held on the Domain in Kerikeri, but with the [fire-damaged] pavilion unusable, and limited access on to the grounds, we set up a search around the area for a venue that had toilets, showers, catering facilities, lots of space for two show rings, parking and camping facilities, and the showgrounds had it all. It is also a NZMC Association camp site," she added.